Having a finished basement is a great way to create more space in your home. It also adds value to your house if you ever decide to sell. However, adding drywall, flooring, and plumbing is just a small part of having a finished basement. Safety is always a concern in any part of the house and the basement is no exception. Here are 4 safety upgrades for families with basements to help keep you, your family, and your home safe and free from hazards.
Even finished basements are at risk of flooding. Especially in areas that have frequent rain falls. You can help prevent your basement from flooding by keeping your gutters clean and free of debris and extending gutter downspouts. Gutter downspouts should divert rain water away from the house.
Fires happen. Make sure your basement allows for escape if a fire happens in your home. You can prevent a family member from being trapped inside the basement during a fire by installing egress window wells. In fact, the state of Virginia requires emergency escape and rescue options for a finished basement, as well hardwired smoke alarms with a battery back-up. An egress window well will satisfy the state laws while providing a safety option for your family if a fire should ever break out.
Light it Up
Safety begins with good lighting. Be sure to clear out shrubbery, plants, or any other obstacles that prevents natural light to come through the basement windows. Track or recessed lighting is a great option for providing light in an otherwise dark space. Laws require at least one switch light in each basement room and hallway.
Good ventilation in the basement will protect your home as well as your health. When humidity levels reach 100%, any additional humidity will deposit on the basement walls and floors as condensation. This will cause unhealthy mold and rot one of the top ten ten causes of breathing problems. A good ventilation system will sense when the humidity is too high which will trigger the fans, keeping your basement safe and dry. If you sense something is wrong, a mold test or other inspection of the home might be necessary to determine the problem.
If you have or are planning on having a finished basement, following these safety rules will keep your family and home safe. The state of Virginia requires egress window wells, smoke alarms, and many other codes to be followed when it comes to finished basements. Your contractor can help you decide the best safety options for your finished basement while making sure the legal codes are followed.